Sonia Bashir Kabir, a business icon in tech and innovation sector, was named ‘ICT Businessperson of the Year’ at the Daily Star ICT Awards 2019 for her tech investments, pioneering initiatives, and extraordinary achievements in the country’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector. For the first time, this prestigious award was presented to a woman. The event was held yesterday at Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden in the capital and was graced by Dr. Gowher Rizvi, the Prime Minister’s international affairs adviser, as the Chief Guest.
Sonia Bashir Kabir is a Bangladeshi investor focusing on tech start-ups in emerging markets. She is a renowned figure in the tech community as a founder, co-founder, angel investor, and tech philanthropist. She exemplifies knowledge, empowerment, excellence and sheer dedication which helped her to become one of the most competitive business leaders in her time. She is the founder and the chairman of SBK Tech Ventures and SBK Foundation, and previously was the Managing Director of Microsoft Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Laos for five years.
Sonia was ecstatic to receive the award. She said, ‘I am absolutely honored, humbled and grateful to have won the Businessperson of the Year Award for my work. This is the first time this award has been given to a woman, and I see this as an opportunity to celebrate women entrepreneurship and contributions in the technology sector.’
She further said, ‘I feel blessed to had the chance to work with talented youth in my career in Bangladesh. I also look forward to collaborating with them in the future. I believe technology will empower our youth to change the lives of the people of Bangladesh.’ She thanked the Daily Star for honoring her with this prestigious accolade.
In 2017, Sonia was recognized as 1 of the 10 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) pioneers by the United Nations Global Compact. In 2016, Sonia was 1 of the 10 recipients of Microsoft’s Prestigious Founders Award given by Bill Gates. She was also a national athlete who has played both Volleyball & Cricket for Abahani & Bangladesh Women’s National team.
After completing her MBA in the USA, Sonia Bashir Kabir worked in Silicon Valley for Fortune 100 companies including Sun Microsystems and Oracle, start-ups and in the financial district. Her expertise includes strategic planning and growth, sales execution, financial management, team building, and change management. After living 20 years in the USA, Sonia decided to come back to Bangladesh with the aspiration to take her country forward by democratizing technology. In Bangladesh, Sonia has served as the Country Manager for Dell Bangladesh, Director of Business Development for South East Asia, Emerging Markets in Microsoft and Chief Operating Officer for Aamra Technologies Limited.
Sonia Bashir Kabir has co-founded over 10 startups including Dmoney, Syntec, Digiland, Uqeel, Agrisensor, Turbo technologies, Hishabplus.com, United ventures, Dokkho, Proshanti, and Pulse. She is an angel investor in Sheba.xyz, Priyoshop.com, Repto to name a few.
Sonia is a member of the Governing Board of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) in New Delhi, India. Sonia is the Founder President of TiE Dhaka Chapter and currently serves as its Advisor. TiE is a Silicon Valley based association that fosters entrepreneurship. Sonia also Co-Founded the first IT Association in Bangladesh for women called Bangladesh Women in IT (BWIT). Sonia is also the Founder and President of The Angels Network (TAN) the nation’s first Tech Women Investors Platform.